In Honor of Professor Jean Rives 1922-2012


On April 6, 2012, Professor Jean Rives died at the age of 90. He had worked previously at the University in Reims, France. Although he had been retired for a long time, his teaching and influence will remain with us. He was a pioneer and leader in hernia surgery. Hernia specialists worldwide routinely apply his ventral hernia repair technique. Based on strong scientific evidence, the European Hernia Society has recently identified the Rives ventral hernia repair technique with a mesh implant behind the rectus muscles best repair technique for abdominal midline hernias. It combines safety for the patients, very low recurrence rates and excellent functional outcomes.

At the UNC Hernia Center, we have used Rives’ technique for almost 10 years in more than 250 patients. Our experience and excellent results confirm in full the benefits of Rives’ concepts. To our delight, we have witnessed great patient satisfaction. It is indeed a profound experience for a hernia surgeon to work with the great adaptability of the Rives retrorectus repair in standard and extreme situations such as very large hernias and/or recurrent hernias. Since Professor Rives’ work in the 1970s and 1980s, other techniques have been proposed in the US, including laparoscopic ventral hernia repairs and Component Separation. These newer techniques are useful in special situations but do not deliver consistently superior results for the medium to large size ventral and incisional hernias. We are now able to train our young surgeons to apply the most appropriate ventral hernia operation in their future practice.

For information call the Hernia Center line: (919) 843- 2547